Modern technology is rapidly evolving to accommodate new features that will enable humans to probe deeper into space and possibly create sustainable energy in future space colonies.
Year 2020: Lunar Colony
Scientists are already making headway on these concepts— one example of this is Project Luna Gaia (set for 2020), devised by a team of 30 international space scientists. It provides an “overall picture of how a minibiosphere would work”. It is set in a crater at the north pole of the moon, because the shadow would provide good shelter for the colony against solar radiation emitted from the sun. The focus of Luna Gaia is to create a close-looped environment with facilities that would be able to effectively recycle all material, reduce waste, and grow a sufficient amount of crops for a team of 12 astronauts under isolation for up to three years. It incorporates new technologies such as the CEBAS (Closed Equilibrated Biological Aquatic System) and the MELIiSSA (Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative) to create an enclosed aquarium above sleeping quarters, using microbes and algae to carry out specific tasks such as “purifying water, recycling CO 2 and derive edible material from waste products”. Residents would gain protein, vitamins, and other minerals through a mainly vegetarian diet of small, hydroponically grown crops (tomatoes, wheat, etc.) and certain types of algae (Spirulina). Although this seems a likely successful prospect, there are a few liabilities because (1) there may be leaks (2) the highly vegetarian diet may not be able to provide humans with the nutrients needed.